Salvadors Birth Story
After my birth with my daughter and walking out of there having every drug under the sun due to intervention and an 18-hour labour I was determined to have this baby with absolutely no intervention at all.
At 39 weeks pregnant I asked to have a stretch and sweep to hopefully get things moving and voila, after walking for 3kms, having sex and bouncing on a gym ball at 3 am I started having surges.
They were mild at this stage and because with my daughter I was induced I was unsure if this is what they felt like at first so I kept trying to sleep.
After waking up on and off it got to around 5 am and the surges started to ramp up a little bit but were still ten minutes apart. We were still co-sleeping with our 21-month-old at this point and the bed was starting to become a bit squishy and I kept waking my daughter and husband up with every surge as I would have to roll around to get comfy so I decided to go into the other room and put on a red light so I could see but not stimulate my senses too much.
From about 5 am to 7 am I tried to sleep a little more while rolling on a gym ball but at 7 am it was time for my daughter to wake up and thankfully it was her preschool day.
At this point, I thought I should probably call my midwife and see what she thought was going on. After speaking to her we agreed to just keep go on about our day as normal and see how to surges continue, so that’s what we did.
Fridays, after we drop our daughter to daycare, are our date days and we wanted to keep it like that and act as if I wasn’t in labour so we dropped our daughter off to daycare at around 9 am and headed out to our favourite cafe for a coffee and cake.
By this point I was having surges every seven minutes but they seemed to be easy to manage, my husband would just press firmly on my lower back if they became a bit strong or while I was sitting in the cafe I would just tap my foot on the floor and hope no-one would notice haha.
This day was unusually hot, 37 degrees, so we thought the best way to soothe my surges and back pain were to do my most favourite thing, swim! So we drove to Newcastle ocean baths and walked down to Main Beach. I remember that walk so well, holding hands and laughing about our day and almost forgetting that we were potentially going to have a baby in our arms today until I would have to stop mid-step and ask Alex to put pressure on my back as the surge became stronger.
The water was crystal clear that day and we jumped in right away. Swimming in that ocean was incredible, so refreshing and energising. We jumped in and out a few times while in between sitting the beach relaxing and talking about our house and how beautiful the day was.
It started to become a bit harder to swim in the end because every time I would dive under every wave I would feel my stomach tighten and it would bring on a surge so we decided to call it a day.
We went to grab some lunch from Kotara food court as I was craving Vietnamese! At this stage, my surges were around 5 mins apart and becoming a bit more intense but we agreed that we should keep going until they were around 3 mins apart.
After a hard 20 mins drive, because seriously who like been in a car while having surges, we arrived at Kotara. While sitting in the food court eating our lunch I could tell this was ramping up quickly, each surge was getting closer and more intense and the stamping of my foot and counting in my head was starting to not cut it.
Now I don’t know if it was hormones or what but at this point, after looking at my husband’s long wet hair ( past his chest-length) after swimming I was insistent that my husband gets a hair cut before we go to the hospital.
There was no way he was not going to get his hair cut at this point so we found a barber. It was while he was getting his hair cut that my surges were starting to become 3-4 mins apart and I was starting to not be able to hide the fact that I was in labour. Every surge I would have to walk out of the store and count them out, I was unsure if this meant it was time to go to the hospital so I called my midwife to check. So after all that we jumped back into the car drove the 15 minutes home to only just realise that we had to pick our daughter up from Preschool and drop her at our brothers and sister-in-laws house. So my husband set off while I stayed home and got my stuff ready.
The surges were so intense at this point that I would either have to bounce them away or drop down on all fours to breath them out while having some techno music playing in the background of course.
Yep!, it was time.
My husband got home around 1:45 pm and we set off to the hospital. We arrived at around 2 pm and had to try and find the birthing ward while having surges every three minutes. Once we had found the ward I asked to be examined to see how far along I was 6cm!
Woohoo! I was stoked. Straight away I stripped off down to just my bra and was rolling on bouncing on the birthing ball. Funny story, during this time I was staying with my hands on the birthing ball, rolling it back and forth as we heard a knock on the door. I thought it was the midwife so we said to come in, to our shock it was not! It was a random man who happened to knock on the wrong door and find the wrong woman in labour! This gave us a good laugh for the rest of the afternoon and I think that man was scarred for life.
40 minutes had past and I asked if I was able to jump into the bath to help relieve some pain and potentially have a water birth. THIS WAS AMAZING!
The surges became stronger in the bath but the pain didn’t. I almost felt like I was back in the ocean.
After about an hour of being in the bath I asked to be checked to see how far along I was so I jumped out of the bath. To my surprise I was at 9cm!! I decided not to get back into the bath at this stage but instead rest my upper half on the bed and sway until a surge would come on and to help with this I continued to breathe but also my body just naturally started to want to do squats. Every squat during a surge seemed to relieve the pressure and pain.
Things started to heat up and I couldn’t go much longer so my midwife recommended using a yoga matt so I didn’t become too tired. My husband had to keep reminding me “just one more, just one more surge” those were the words he kept repeating over me.
By this point I wanted to tap out, I was 10cm and ready to go but my waters hadn’t broken yet. I remember putting my hand down near my vagina and feeling them inside.
The surges were intense and the only way I was getting through any of it by this point was to get louder and moan out loud “I can’t wait to meet you”, “ come out I’m ready to meet you”, “I can do this” over and over again.
To get things moving faster I needed my waters to burst so I was rocking back and forth while gently pushing. I did this about six times then, BAM!, they exploded everywhere!.
It felt like someone had thrown a large bucket of water all over and between my legs. The poor midwife and my husband were absolutely drenched. It only took one more surge after my waters had broken and I was ready to start pushing. With one big push, his head was crowning, and then with one more big push his head was out.
I couldn’t believe how relieving it was to push and I was surprised that I couldn't feel this ‘ring of fire’ that everyone warned me about.
I kept pushing for about 1 more minute and wasn’t able to get his shoulder out. The midwives were starting to become worried at this stage and had called for emergency help.
I had to move to a squatting position against the bed to try and help get his shoulders out but this did not help, the whole emergency team was in the room at this point and I was pulled up onto the bed.
They placed me on my back and preformed the McRoberts maneuver to help get him out, this was thankfully successful.
As soon as he was born my husband was unable to cut his umbilical cord as he had to be rushed over to the resus trolley. I didn’t know at the time but he was born flat, I couldn't see what was happening over there but all I could see was the reaction on my husband’s face and it wasn’t good. I started to get worried and was asking what was going on. Our baby was needing to be resuscitated.
This was horrifying, we had the doctors yelling “FLAT” and everyone racing around, all while I was lying there not knowing what’s going on.
After about three minutes he thankfully came good and was able to be placed into my arms. Only a few minutes later our beautiful boy was having his first feed from my breast and we were enjoying some beautiful skin to skin.
Although the ending was shaky I couldn't believe what an incredible birth I was able to enjoy and how thankful and powerful it is to be a woman.
We have been created so intricately and given so much strength that could only come from God. Strength to carry, to grow, to birth and then to nourish.
Women are amazing and I am honored to have been able to birth my children and especially this time with no intervention.
Incredible birth story by @Jayde_Spier